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2022 Draft Coverage: Early Mock Drafts

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Here’s the first collection of this year’s Mock Drafts.  We usually see the first crazy-early mock just after the 2021 draft (from Baseball America), then again after the end of the 2021 season when the draft order is more or less determined, then it really starts to heat up in April/May.

I’ll keep adding to this list as Mocks come in; they’re generated all the way up to the day of the draft by the major pundits.  If i’m missing a ranking here, please let me know. I generally try to capture every mock from a handful of credible scouting websites: Baseball America, MLBpipeline, Keith Law/The Athletic, Kiley McDaniel/ESPN, and Eric Longenhagen/Fangraphs. I also try to include CBSSports/Mike Axisa and D1Baseball folks because they have good insight. I generally do NOT include fan-boy team-blog mock drafts that just arbitrarily pick players without any insight that the professionals do, nor do I put much credence into fantasy site-driven mocks.


Here’s the Mock draft collection.  The Nats pick at #5 this year, so no need to scan down and project deep into the 1st.  This year i’m ordering them Chronologically as rec’d instead of grouping by pundit…. this should let us see kind of an evolution of the top of the draft.  Players are bolded the first time they’re mentioned, not again afterwards.

  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Way too Early 2022 Mock, 7/14/21, done the day after the 2021 draft. top 5: Elijah Green, Jace Jung, Brooks Lee, Kevin Pareda, Terrmar Johnson. I have to admit … this mock is darn accurate to what the pundits continue to predict 10 months later. Bravo.
  • MLBpipeline (Jonathan Mayo): Top 20 projected 2022 Mock 7/22/21: Green, Dylan Lesko, Jacob Berry, Jackson Ferris, Johnson.
  • MLBpipeline (Jim Callis) top 10 Mock Draft 2022 published 12/16/21: Johnson, Druw Jones, Berry, Lee. Nats take Green. First mention of Druw Jones, who only continued to rise from here on out.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) v1.0 Mock Draft 2/11/22: Jones, Johnson, Green, Lee, Nats take Berry.
  • Baseball America (Collazo) 2.0 Mock draft 4/1/22: Jones, Lee, Lesko, Johnson, Nats take Green.
  • Baseball America (Collazo and an anonymous industry insider) Mock Draft 3.0. 4/28/22: Lee, DJones, Green, Lesko. Nats get Jung.
  • MLBpipeline top 10 Mock draft 5/11/22: Jones, Green, Jackson Holliday, Lee, Nats take Parada.
  • The Athletic (Keith Law) first mock draft 5/18/22: Berry, Jones, Holliday, Lee. Nats take Parada. His thinking; O’s take Berry at 1-1 to save a ton of money (he’s not really projected this high at this point), then use that on a prep kid in the supplemental and 2nd rounds to overpay. Nats reportedly “on Parada” heavily, despite his being a catcher and despite having just acquired what looks to be their starting Catcher for the next 6 years last off-season in Kiebert Ruiz. Repeat after me: you don’t draft in baseball based on what’s on your current MLB roster; you take the best player available, always. Parada might very well be the collegiate player of the year this year, and if he works his way up the minors in 2 years and suddenly you have two starting catchers … you deal with that problem then.
  • MLBPipeline (Callis) Mock Draft May 2022: Holliday, Jones, Parada, Lee. Nats take Elijah Green.
  • Baseball America Mock 4.0 6/2/22: Holliday, Jones, Green, Lee, Nats take Parada. BA notes that the Nats are heavily focused on Parada right now, and take him over Terrmarr Johnson in this scenario.

So, we’re starting to see a pretty clear consensus from the regular mockers.

  1. O’s seem to be going the under-slot deal to save enough money to overpay a prep kid who’s fallen early in round 2 or in the supplemental draft. The O’s pick 1st, 33rd, and 42nd this year, meaning they’ll get basically three “first round” talents out of this draft if they spend wisely.
  2. Arizona/Texas/Pittsburgh then have their choice of the top talents, and those seem to be three of Drew Jones, Jackson Holliday, Brooks Lee, and Elijah Greene.
  3. It seems like most think its going to be Jones, Holliday and Lee, leaving us to choose between Parada and Green.
  4. I’d be ecstatic if Brooks Lee fell to us; he was a mid-1st rounder out of HS, and has only improved since.
  5. Green by most accounts has the “highest upside” in the draft, but is of course 3-4 years away.
  6. Parada at #5, if Lee is gone, seems like the safer/faster pick.
  7. Termarr Johnson is also on the board in most of these mocks, and was projected higher earlier in the season, but he’s a little more risky as a prep SS.
  8. Anyone else would be a reach that the team shouldn’t do.

Written by Todd Boss

June 9th, 2022 at 3:17 pm

June 1st Roster Shakeups

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So, apparently according to Nats brass, the amount of time a player needs in the minors to completely dominate a level before getting moved up is exactly … 2 months.

Because on June 1st, a number of players who have clearly shown they’re too good for the level they’re currently in were moved up. Lets take a look at some of the more notable prospect moves over the last few days:

Nationals:

  • Called up Evan Lee, gave him his first start
  • Re-called, finally, Luis Garcia after he slashed .314/.368/.531 the first two months in Rochester.

Yes, I know both of these were more about Lee/Garcia covering for injuries, but they were still merit induced and both may actually stick in the majors. Lee’s rotation spot won’t be there for long (not as long as Strasburg is pitching 6 nearly-no-hit innings in AAA), but Josh Rogers just hit the D/L with a very scary sounding “shoulder impingement” injury. We don’t know if this is season-ending, career-ending, or a two week stint. Meanwhile, Garcia steps in for Alcides Escobar, who hit the D/L with a hamstring injury but who probably should just be released after he posted a 61 OPS+ for the first two months.

AAA:

  • Promoted Cole Henry from AA
  • Promoted Matt Brill from AA

Henry was a long time coming; In 7 starts/23 innings, he gave up a grand total of five (5!) hits and had a 28/9 K/BB ratio. Can we please stretch this guy out longer than an 9yr old little league pitch count restriction? Meanwhile, Brill is an under-the-radar RHP 8th/9th inning guy who was closing in Harrisburg and now can see if he can sustain his excellent numbers in AAA.

AA:

  • Promoted Jake Irvin from High-A
  • Promoted Zach Brzykcy from High-A

So, Irvin wasn’t nearly as dominant as Henry, but he still proved he had nothing left to prove at High-A. This is great news coming off of two lost seasons for him. Meanwhile, NDFA Brzycky continues climbing up the ladder for this team. Best $20k they’ve ever spent. Harrisburg also gets a RHP reliever named Edgar Garcia (at least for the next few days), who was pretty good for the last few years in Minnesota’s AAA team and who has MLB experience in three different seasons. Not really sure why he’s in AA, but Washington does this often with MLFAs it finds on the scrap heap

High-A:

  • Promoted Rodney Theopile from Low-A

In the most obviously needed move of all, Theopile takes his dominant low-A stats (9 starts 1.29 ERA, 62/11 K/BB in 48IP) to the next level. It really is amazing how many times we see a pitcher scuffle at a level one year then dominate it the next. Add another example here.

Low-A:

nothing yet; they just activated Mason Denaburg to join the rotation, and they have a couple of starters sitting on the DL, so they’ll seemingly refill from within for now.


New Look rotations per level:

  • MLB: Corbin, Lee, Adon, Grey Fedde (at least for now: when Stras comes back probably Lee to Long Relief or back to AA)
  • AAA My guess is Cavalli, Sharp, Tetreault, Henry, and Verrett, with Jefry Rodriguez going to swing man and Abbott continuing to not be a starter.
  • AA: Fuentes, Kilome, Reyes, Gausch, Henry, with Troop continuing to be excellent long man. Carrillo still hurt, Herrera just put on the DL.
  • High-A: Cate, Parker, Cuevas, Theopile, then two from Shuman and Merrill
  • Low-A: Denaburg, Cacheras, Lara, Collins and Rutledge. I guess. Rutledge is now floundering in Low-A while Henry and Cavalli now sit on the AAA roster. Wow.

Written by Todd Boss

June 4th, 2022 at 9:07 pm

CWS 2022 Field of 64 announced; Local team preview

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Its College Baseball post-season time, something we’ve followed in this space for years. Here’s a quick guide to the CWS 2022 post season.

First off, some resources for you.

Your top 8 seeds and favorites to make Omaha, in order:

  1. Tennessee (RPI = 1)
  2. Stanford (3)
  3. Oregon State (2)
  4. Virginia Tech (5)
  5. Texas A&M (22)
  6. Miami (15)
  7. Oklahoma State (10)
  8. ECU (8)

You can see that the committee stayed pretty true to RPI for the top 4 seeds, then clearly deviated from the RPIs for the rest of the top 8, which is going to leave some of these teams facing really difficult #2 seeds in their regioanls coming up. Here’s the rest of the top 10 by RPI and who they’re facing:

  • 4. UNC: hosting a regional but as the #10 national seed
  • 6. Wake Forest: not even a host, goes to Maryland as that region’s #2 seed
  • 7. Vanderbilt, this high due to #1 Strength of Schedule, goes to Oregon State as that region’s #2 seed.
  • 9. Maryland, who spent most of the season in the top 10 of the rankings, gets dropped to a #15 seed in the tournament and has to face Vanderbilt, who’s actually got a higher RPI.

So, this is going to lead us to some very, very good regionals and a ton of upsets. Here’s some comments on all our DC/MD/VA local teams in the tourney:

  • Virginia Tech: as noted, #4 national seed, has been ranked as high as #3 this year, strong RPI, dominated in the ACC (which was every bit as good as the SEC this year). For their troubles they get a very, very easy regional, with #2 Gonzaga coming west-to-east and only ranked #27 by RPI, the Ivy league champ Columbia, and Wright State. Couldn’t ask for a better regional.
  • Maryland: #15 National seed and given the #6 RPI team in Wake Forest coming out of a far better conference as their #2 seed. Apologies Terps fans; you’re likely losing this regional on home soil. I suppose the recent Lacrosse national championship makes up for it.
  • Liberty gets the #3 regional seed as an at-large in the UFlorida region, an interesting matchup for them since they went to Florida to open the season and won 2 of 3. They have to contend though with Oklahoma first, a very good Big12 team that nearly made a case to host itself. Probably the hardest regional
  • VCU won their conference, and get to head to UNC as that regional’s #3 seed. Uphil climb here, since UNC is better than their #10 national seed indicates.
  • Virginia entered the ACC tourney looking like a top 16 seed/regional host, but got blown out by Louisville to end any chance; that loss dumped their RPI down to #24 and now they’re the #2 seed in East Carolina’s regional. Which isn’t bad: ECU’s got a great RPI (#8) but they’re from a weaker conference and were just 2-7 against top 50 RPI teams all year. UVA has to really like their chances in this regional.

Other local teams who we thought had a chance: Old Dominion was one of the last teams cut, coming in at #40 on the RPI but who really needed to win their weaker conference to get in. The next best team in the area to not make the cut was William & Mary, with an RPI of #84 and who clearly needed to win the Colonial to make it.


Quick predictions for the 16 regionals, ordered by National Seed super Regional matchup

  • #1 Tennessee will get a challenge from ACC’s Georgia Tech, but should advance.
  • #16 Georgia Southern gets Notre Dame, the ACC finalist and a complete snub for hosting, along with tough Big12 team Texas Tech. A dogfight of a regional here.
  • #8 ECU as mentioned has UVA in its region and I think gets upset.
  • #9 Texas gets an intriguing #3 seed in Dallas Baptist but a weaker #2 seed in C-USA champion Louisiana Tech. Texas should advance here.
  • #5 Texas A&M inexplicably gets a #5 national seed despite an RPI in the 20s, but is let off the hook with a weaker regional that includes a TCU team that isn’t as good as its reputation and the Sunbelt champion Louisiana (aka Louisiana-Lafayette).
  • #12 Louisville, who will be a tough out, gets a couple of cold weather teams in its regional and should advance
  • #4 Virginia Tech as discussed above gets a cake-walk of a Regional, all things considered.
  • #13 Florida gets, as discussed, both Liberty and Oklahoma, one of which has beaten them this season and the other which can beat them. Florida went just 11-17 against top 50 opponents this year despite its ranking and RPI, and I think they get beat. A deep regional.
  • #3 Oregon State cannot be happy seeing Vanderbilt in their regional; upset watch here.
  • #14 Auburn will, like nearly every SEC team, have to contend with an ACC team in Florida State but won’t be worried about a weaker Pac12 team in UCLA.
  • #6 Miami will have fun with two perennial powers in Arizona and Ole Miss, but both of these similarly ranked RPI teams probably cancel themselves out
  • #11 Southern Miss gets LSU and a tricky Kennesaw State team. Upset watch here.
  • #7 Oklahoma State had to be happy to see Grand Canyon as its #2, even if a recent national champion Arkansas is in here as #3.
  • #10 UNC gets a relatively easy draw with Georgia and VCU. UNC played top-50 ranked opponents no less than 36 times out of 57 games, good for the #2 hardest schedule this year behind Vandy.
  • #2 Stanford, who went 21-9 in the PAC12 but was just 10-9 against top 50 teams, nonetheless won’t be threatened by its regional but could be in trouble in the supers.
  • #15 Maryland has to deal with Wake Forest and one of the best cold-weather teams in Uconn, and seems like an upset in the making.

Predictions:

  • #1 Tennessee
  • Notre Dame
  • UVA
  • #9 Texas
  • #5 Texas A&M
  • #12 Louisville
  • #4 Virginia Tech
  • Oklahoma
  • Vanderbilt
  • #14 Auburn
  • #6 Miami
  • LSU
  • #7 Oklahoma State
  • #10 UNC
  • #2 Stanford
  • Wake Forest

Super-Early Omaha predictions:

  • #1 Tennessee
  • #9 Texas
  • #12 Louisville
  • Oklahoma
  • #6 Miami
  • #7 Oklahoma State
  • #10 UNC
  • #2 Stanford

Prospect Watch. Who are the top ranked college prospects to look for? Borrowing from the mock drafts and ranking boards, here’s some big names in play for first round action who are in the CWS:

  • Georgia Tech’s C Kevin Parada, who many mock drafters have going to the Nats at #5, is in Tennessee to play (and lose to) the #1 team.
  • Tennessee is led by two OF 1st round talents in Jordan Beck, a mid-1st rounder who is tooled up, has a ton of power and can play CF, and the guy who actually IS playing CF for them in Drew Gilbert, a high-contact hitter who can also pitch.
  • Arizona’s C Daniel Susac is in action but likely goes home early.
  • Virginia Tech is led by top 15 candidate OF Gavin Cross
  • LSU’s top player is a 1st round projection in Jacob Berry, but he’s held back by lack of position and defensive liability.
  • Texas Tech has a winnable #16 seed region with their star player and 1st rounder Jace Jung, whos brother Josh Jung was a top 10 pick in 2019.
  • Florida’s #1 starter at the beginning of the year was LHP Hunter Barco, but he went down with Tommy John and isn’t pitching (but still might be a 1st rounder).
  • Florida’s best hitting prospect is likely OF Sterlin Thompson, who will be a draft-eligible sophomore with a big bat.
  • Oklahoma State’s #1 starter is RHP Justin Campbell, a likely back of the first rounder
  • Gonzaga has a top starter in Gabriel Hughes, with a 33% strikeout rate. Should make for a fun outing in his regional when he goes.

Written by Todd Boss

May 31st, 2022 at 10:07 am

Kiley McDaniel/ESPN Nats 2022 Prospect lists

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We’re a bit deep into the season to do prospect list reviews … but somehow I missed the ESPN Insider Kiley McDaniel‘s prospect list release. That’s directly do to the fact that ESPN.com eliminated their RSS feeds for their writers and make it nearly impossible to keep up with their new content unless (of course) you go to their website daily. Which of course I don’t have time to do.

So, I noticed I was missing a near-annual list from this leading pundit, and went and found it. Released March 23rd, 2022. I’m pretty sure its behind ESPN insider’s paywall, so apologies if you cannot see the above.

McDaniel is definitely an international expert, and he’s definitely heavier on the ceiling than the floor, especially with younger players. So keep that in mind when you see 19yr olds perhaps a bit higher than other, more “sure thing” players.

Here’s his full list:

Kiley RankLast NameFirst NamePosition
1RuizKeibertC
2HouseBradySS/3B
3CavalliCadeRHP (Starter)
4HenryColeRHP (Starter)
5LaraAndryRHP (Starter)
6RutledgeJacksonRHP (Starter)
7AdonJoanRHP (Starter)
8LileDaylenOF (CF)
9VaqueroCristianOF (CF)
10CruzArmandoSS
11AntunaYaselSS/OF (Corner)
12CarrilloGerardoRHP (Starter)
13CroninMattLHP (Reliever)
14CateTimLHP (Starter)
15RamirezAldoRHP (Starter)
16ParkerMitchellLHP (Starter)
17WhiteT.J.OF (Corner)
18De La RosaJeremyOF (Corner)
19InfanteSamuelSS
20RomeroSethLHP (Starter)
21SaenzDustinLHP (Starter)
22DenaburgMasonRHP (Starter)
23BoissiereBrandenOF (Corner)
24QuintanaRoismarOF (CF)
25BrzykcyZachRHP (Reliever)
26FoxLuciusSS
27CluffJacksonSS
28LeeEvanLHP (Starter)
29MillasDrewC
30CaseyDonovanOF (Corner)
31PinedaIsraelC
32BarleyJordySS

Lets talk about the players one by one who are notable for where he had them ranked:

  • Ruiz is “eligible” on his list so he’s #1.
  • McDaniel is one of the few pundits to put House over Cavalli.
  • He remains very high on Rutledge, having him #6 in our system.
  • He’s easily the high man on Daylen Lile, loved him as a prospect last year as one of the best “pure hitters” in the draft. We didn’t see that in last year’s FCL though, so this is definitely a ranking based on faith of the scouting report.
  • He’s dinged Antuna down to #11, which I think is fair. This is the same Antuna who is STILL not hitting (current high-A slash line for 2022: .216/.382/.715. He now has hit 1,000 career pro at bats and has a career slash line of .236/.324/.364. At some point, pundits and front office execs are going to have to acknowledge the facts on him.
  • He’s lower on Carrillo than most, but only a few slots.
  • He’s quite high on T.J. White as compared to other shops, some of whom didn’t even rank him in their top 30 (Baseball America). So far in 2022, as an 18yr old he’s slashing .250/.333/.422 in a league where the pitchers are on average 3.5 years older than him. Wow.
  • He remains somewhat hopeful on Seth Romero, having him ranked 20th.
  • He’s one of the few to rank Dustin Saenz, having him 21st and describing him as “a better-than-the-sum-of-his-parts squatty lefty with an above-average heater and good feel who could travel the Parker path to a backend rotation outcome.
  • He also is one of the few to rate Boissiere, having him ranked 23rd.
  • He’s quite low in comparison on players like Cluff and Casey, perhaps because he views them as org pieces and not stars.

Notable players not in his top 32

  • No Holden Powell … but nobody has him ranked this year with his injuries.
  • no Daniel Marte; most other shops at least had him in their 20s.
  • No Riley Adams, who would have been eligible here if Ruiz was.
  • No Tres Barrera or any other veteran minor league catcher.

conclusion: I like this ranking, a lot. He has House over Cavalli, he has Henry #4 and of Henry says, “Henry is the consensus fourth prospect in this system with a lot of differing opinions beyond that. After an up-and-down time with raw stuff in college, he’s now back to sitting 94-96 mph with an above average-to-plus hook, improving changeup and starter traits. He should be in Double-A this year and is a safer bet for rotation value than Cavalli, but with a little less upside.

Written by Todd Boss

May 26th, 2022 at 8:27 am

Posted in Prospects

Random Thoughts on the Minors Today

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Maybe Tetreault is someone we should be keeping more of an eye on as a potential MLB call-up? Photo Federal Baseball

So, spurred on by an email from a fan, I did some “scouting the stat line” today and came up with the following observations (stats are as of yesterday if quoted; all stats available at milb.com, or if you’d like use my handy “Cheat Sheet” of websites here to directly surf to all the relevant minor league pages.

In AAA Rochester:

  • I’m really wondering why Luis Garcia is still in AAA with an OPS of nearly 1.000 while the MLB team continues to give at-bats to Escobar and Strange-Gordon
  • Glad to see Stevenson actually hitting. But there’s nowhere for him to go. We have no trade-able OFs at the deadline, so Stevenson seems blocked. I would say “trade him” but … MLB teams can read baseball-reference.com and know what he did in the majors.
  • Meneses really powering the ball; too bad he’s 30.  Maybe they call him up to play 1B after they trade Bell at the deadline. He could be the next Yadiel Hernandez for this team.
  • Most effective Starter in AAA? Prospect after-thought Jackson Tetreault, who was not on one single prospect ranking top 30 anywhere for this team this past off-season. The scouting reports on Tetreault explain why he’s not rated: he has mid 90s FB, but fringe-average secondary pitches and historically has struggled with control. However, 2021 and 2022 so far has seen much lower walk rates, so maybe this is found gold.
  • What the heck is going on with Cavalli??
  • Why did the team send down Francisco Perez? Oh because he couldn’t find the plate (6 walks in 4 1/3 innings).
  • Our old friend Tyler Clippard can’t find the plate either: 13 walks in 17 innings. I wonder how long he’ll ride the bus in AAA after so many years in the majors before he pulls a Jayson Werth and walks away.

In AA Harrisburg:

  • The (qualified) team leader in OPS right now is Justin Connell. Another prospect afterthought, he’s only 23 (he turned 23 in March) after being an 11th rounder out of HS (American Heritage … the same baseball factory HS that gave this team Adrien Nieto way back in 2008 and which had had dozens of players drafted in the last 20 years). A 23yr old with an .893 OPS in AA should be notable; he’s a full year younger than the average age in that league. Maybe a diamond in the rough?
  • Dondrei Hubbard has come out of the gate hot, hitting .375 while bouncing around the corner OF spots. He’s 27, has almost no state-side experience, is too old for AA … can he keep this up? He is listed as an infielder but has been doing nothing but outfield; seems like he has some positional flexibility.
  • Can we stretch out Cole Henry, please? Why did he get scratched from his last start? Please don’t say injury please don’t say injury.
  • Evan Lee is living up to his 40-man selection so far.
  • Matt Cronin looks like he’s back. Maybe he’s a bullpen option later this year for the Nats, especially since we can’t seem to keep lefty relievers on the active roster.
  • I like what Alex Troop can do for the team; 9 games, 23 innings, spot starts and effective long relief, good numbers. Maybe he should be getting longer looks, you know, like in the rotation instead of some 27yr old career minor leaguer like Ronald Herrera?

In High-A Wilmington…

  • Drew Mendoza has been powering the ball lately, with healthy slash lines and a team leading OPS figure among qualified hitters. Would really like to see him doing this in AA. I’m guessing he’ll get another shot at AA soon.
  • Antuna: hitting .217. At what point do we stop making excuses for this guy and free up the 40-man space he’s been sitting on for two years needlessly? Do we have to wait for him to repeat High-A again in 2023 and burn his last option (probably). It seems like every time he gets criticized, someone’s like, “oh but he was really good for 3 weeks last June” or “well he’s switching positions so he’s not as focused.” At some point you admit you made a mistake with a prospect and cut bait (ahem, Seth Romero).
  • Wow: Gage Canning is just 3 for 42 since being demoted. And some people thought he was a prospect?
  • Jordy Barley, hitting just .152. He was the primary prospect trade bounty for Daniel Hudson; would have hoped for a bit more. Yeah he’s fast; can’t steal first base (for now; they’re experimenting with this rule in the Indy leagues).
  • Ok, I’m happy Jake Irvin can look awesome in 3 inning stints; lets get him stretched out.
  • Seth Shuman needs to get bumped up. He’s repeating the level, was good at it last year, is good at it now.
  • Love what i’m seeing from Mitchell Parker. This team has a ton of sneaky good lefty starter prospects.
  • Tyler Yankowsky: 19Ks, zero walks in 16 innings. Can’t get much better than that.

In Low-A Fredericksburg…

  • Brady House is lighting it up … and he’s not even the best hitter on the team right now. That’d be ..
  • Jeremy De La Rosa, who was a top 5 prospect last year for this team until he hit .209 in Low-A as a 19 yr old in 2021. Now he’s a much older 20-yr old, playing exclusive CF and has 6 homers in 32 games to contribute to a .925 OPS. Nice.
  • Sammy Infante leads the team in homers. That’s good to see from a guy who a lot of people criticized upon his drafting. Could use a better BA.
  • Its no wonder this team is in first place; half the team has an OPS of 800 or more. They’re all hitting in the Carolina league.
  • Rodney Theopile: wow. Talk about coming out of nowhere; last year in 22 Low-A starts he had an ERA of 5.56. This year in his first 6 starts he has an ERA of 0.82. 48/5 K/BB.
  • Andrew Alvarez: 35 Ks in 21 innings .. amazing he doesn’t have better peripherals.
  • Jackson Rutledge, aka the guy who some people thought was better than Cavalli … 4IP, 8 hits, 3 walks … and he hasn’t pitched in a week with his start getting skipped over. Not much good here.

In XST/DSL … kind of curious to see the following once they start playing. I believe they start June 6th so we’re close.

  • Daylen Lile; our 2021 2nd rounder who a lot of scouts really liked. But he just had TJ surgery, so I’m not sure if that knocks him out for all of 2022. It probably does.
  • Armando Cruz, our big money 2021 IFA signing. Probably in DSL.
  • Aldo Ramirez, a significant prospect we acquired for Kyle Schwarber. Hurt his elbow this spring, maybe he’ll be ok for short season.
  • Mason Denaburg: does he have anything?
  • Roismar Quintana: this might be a major prospect for us.
  • Cristian Vaquero, our big money 2022 IFA signing, probably heading for DSL.

Written by Todd Boss

May 20th, 2022 at 8:38 am

Too Old for the level Revisited

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Brady House is certainly NOT too old for his level. Photo via primetimesportstalk.com

One of the key points in evaluating minor league prospects (or any amateur prospect really) is the consideration of their age in relation to their level. We constantly see added on to the evaluation of a player’s stellar performance at a certain level the caveat of, ” … but he’s old for the level.”

I did a deep dive on this back in 2011, trying to compare the rules of thumb advertised by expert minor league evaluator John Sickels versus our own observations. Now, 10 years on, with evolutions of player development, minor league consolidation, the removal of an entire Short-A level, and the compressing of the lower ranks of the minors, I thought i’d revisit it.

My working guesses before going in and looking at the data are:

  • The compression of the minors will mean that there will be an older skew of players now in Low-A.
  • Hitters will generally be younger than Pitchers, since we have such a prevalence of injuries in the sport which delays pitcher development.
  • the lost Covid year will add at least a half a season or more, especially to pitchers who got hurt at the wrong time (see Irvin, Jake below)

My methodology was to grab the entire list of players with non-trivial stats (meant to remove rehab assignments that would skew the average ages) from the four main full season levels, and grab average ages. Unfortunately fangraphs only lists the “age” and not the birthday for minor leaguers, so this is a bit of an estimate (and thus I couldn’t get meaningful quartile/median figures). I wasn’t willing to scrape dozens of rosters from milb.com to get actual birthdays … so this will have to do. I also only grabbed the leagues where Nats have affiliates; otherwise this would have been 3x the spreadsheet work. I think its a safe assumption that the average age of the players in the Eastern AA league is roughly the same as the Southern AA league.

To start, here was the old Sickels “rules of thumb” for age expectations in the four full season leagues:

  • AAA: Typical Age range is 23-24.  Age 25 depends.  26+ is old
  • AA: 22-23.  24 depends.  25+ is old
  • High-A: 20-22.  23 depends.  24+ is old
  • Low-A: 19-21.  22 depends.  23+ is old

This already seems way low, especially in AAA, where we now know that teams store tons of 4-A 40-man roster guys who will press the issue. But we’ll get to that.


Here’s 2021 full season average age analysis for Hitters with > 30Abs for the year:

  • AAA Hitter Avg Age:  26.53801
  • AA Hitter Avg Age:  24.11027
  • High-A Hitter Avg Age:  22.92832
  • Low-A Hitter Avg Age:  21.40741

and here’s fy2022 so far for hitters with > 30ABs this season:

  • AAA Hitter Avg Age:  26.599
  • AA Hitter Avg Age:  24.169
  • High-A Hitter Avg Age:  22.705
  • Low-A Hitter Avg Age:  20.975

And here’s a bit of a deeper dive into the 2022 hitter data, with quartiles shown:

 MeanYoungest0.25Median0.75Oldest
Low-A Hitter Avg Age: 20.9751552795031820212225
High-A Hitter Avg Age: 22.7046979865771922232427
AA Hitter Avg Age: 24.1689189189192023242533
AAA Hitter Avg Age: 26.5985130111522225262834

So, what are we seeing in Hitters?

  • In Low-A for Hitters, we’re seeing a bit of an inflation of ages from the old rule of thumb, with the 25%-75% quartile range going from 20-22, whereas before it was 19-21.
  • There’s nobody in Low-A right now younger than 18 and you can count on one hand those who are 18. Washington’s T.J. White is one of them. Makes sense; you draft a HS kid and they’re going to generally start in the complex league, and only if they’re stellar will they make the next year’s low-A team … and White was really young for his class out of HS.
  • The average age for high-A hitters jumps more than a year and a half from the Low-A average. interesting. Does this imply that it’s going to take kids a year and a half to get out of low-A now? This would seem to support the argument that we could really use another level (you know, something like Short-A?)
  • The Average age for AA hitters jumps up another year and a half from High-A, showing that the old rules of thumb are now completely antiquated. The average age in AA for hitters is now north of 24.
  • AAA average age is pretty useless in aggregate because of its status as a “spare parts” league. If you’re a prospect rising the ranks (like Cade Cavalli) there’s some analytical value to seeing just how young someone is as compared to the average age, but otherwise the prospects generally are in AA or below.

Lets look at pitchers.

Here’s 2021 full season average age analysis for Pitchers with > 20IP for the year:

  • AAA Pitcher Avg Age:  26.90933
  • AA Pitcher Avg Age:  24.76211
  • High-A Pitcher Avg Age:  23.28326
  • Low-A pitcher Avg Age:  21.93048

and here’s fy2022 so far for Pitchers with > 10IP so far this season:

  • AAA Pitcher Avg Age:  27.33068
  • AA Pitcher Avg Age:  24.5873
  • High-A Pitcher Avg Age:  23.23485
  • Low-A pitcher Avg Age:  22.03472

And here’s a bit of a deeper dive into the 2022 Pitcher data, with quartiles shown:

 AverageYoungest0.25Median0.75Oldest
Low-A pitcher Avg Age: 22.0347222222221921222329
High-A Pitcher Avg Age: 23.2348484848482022232426
AA Pitcher Avg Age: 24.587301587302212324.52530
AAA Pitcher Avg Age: 27.3306772908372225272937

So, what are we seeing in Pitchers, as compared to Hitters?

  • Right now, the fy2022 data on just a few weeks is almost identical to the full season fy2021 data, which shows that teams have already made consistent adjustments to the loss of Short-A.
  • Low-A pitchers are on average a full year older than the hitters at the level, and the 25%-75% quartile range is also a full year older.
  • The age difference is less pronounced in High-A and AA: high-A pitchers are on average a half a year older, while AA pitchers are on average 3-4 months older than the pitchers.
  • AAA goes back to half a year older between hitters and pitchers, but again these numbers are greatly skewed (especially on the pitcher side) by the large number of veteran arms in their late 20s/early 30s giving it one more shot (our own AAA team has more than a few).

So, what’s our new “rules of thumb” for being “too old for the level?” I think it has to adjust from the old days.

  • AAA: Typical Age range is 25-28.  A prospect at the age of 26 is iffy. 27+ is considered old for the level (with all the above AAA caveats). However, if you’re 27 and in AAA, you’re already passed through rule-5 draft, you’re probably pretty close to a 6-year MLFA and you’re not a “prospect” any more anyway. So these rules of thumb really don’t apply to AAA.
  • AA: typical age range is 23-25.  A prospect at 25 is iffy. 26+ is old for the level.
  • High-A: 22-24.  24 depends.  25+ is old
  • Low-A Hitters: 20-22 range, 23 depends, 24+ is old
  • Low-A Pitchers: 21-23 range, 24 depends, 24+ is old

Now, looking at our new rules of thumb, lets do a quick run-through of our notable prospects per team, and comment as to their relative age. This is not a comprehensive list of every player on the roster; just those “top players” who have appeared on prospect ranking lists lately.

  • Frederick’s Low-A Hitter Prospects: House (19), Infante (21), De La Rosa (20), White (18), Boissiere (22): they’re all within the appropriate range right now. Nobody is “too old” here. House and especially White are really young for the league. Boissiere is the oldest prospect here, and he’s repeating the level after struggling in his draft year/age 21 season. Nothing to worry about yet. We do have a couple of “too old” for the level players in Martina and Millas, but they just promoted Millas up as I was writing this draft.
  • Frederick’s Low-A Pitcher Prospects: Lara (19), Rutledge (23), Saenz (23): Lara obviously is young, while Rutledge is pushing the range of acceptability, especially for such a high draft pick and his highly visible failings so far. Saenz is also 23, along with some newer additions like Glavine and Schoff, both senior signs in their first full year of pro ball. While we’re all concerned about the fact that Rutledge can’t find the plate, the rest of these guys are not yet in the “too old” category, but are a little concerning.
  • Wilmington’s High-A Hitter prospects: Antuna (22), Pineda (22), Barley (22), Mendoza (24). So, despite our continual angst about Antuna’s progress, he’s still within the 75% quartile range for age in the league at age 22. He won’t turn 23 until October. His bigger problem is that the team put him on the 40-man way, way too early, and now he’s burned 2 options. Mendoza is in the “depends” category and we all know why: he failed at AA, got demoted last year, and has zero homers through 25 games in 2022 despite basically being a DH at this point.
  • Wilmington’s High-A Pitcher prospects: Parker (22), Brzycky (22), Shuman (24), Irvin (25). So, Parker and NDFA Brzycky are both actually young for High-A. Shuman is in the iffy range; he was excellent for Oakland’s High-A team, then was awful for us in 2021, earning himself a return trip to Wilmington in 2022 … but he’s been pretty solid so far. My guess is that he earns a promotion soon. Meanwhile, we now know that Irvin is way too old for High-A, but we also know why: he missed two full years of throwing with Covid and TJ. He’s also been basically unhittable in High-A in five starts and likely gets promoted within a few weeks.
  • Harrisburg’s AA Hitter prospects: Cluff (25), Alu (25), Harrison (25). We don’t have a lot of hitter prospects in AA; even these three guys are challenging the definition of “prospect.” Cluff is really the only guy who gets any industry-wide speculation. All three are 25, putting them all in the “iffy” category anyway. Cluff and Harrison are really struggling this year. Alu just turned 25 last month, and is hitting well in 2022, but has little prospect buzz.
  • Harrisburg’s AA Pitcher prospects: Henry (22), Carrillo (23), Cronin (24), Cate (24), Evan Lee (25). So, Henry is quite young for AA and is lighting it up, a great sign. Cronin and Cate are still “ok” for the level at this point, even if Cate struggled so badly last year. Lee is already “iffy” even though he just got put on the 40-man, but his AA performance so far has been stellar and he should get pushed up soon. Nobody “too old” here who’s a prospect. We do have several arms in AA who are way too old to be there (Herrera, Brill, Andrew Lee)
  • Rochester AAA Hitter prospects: Casey (26), Barrera (27). We don’t have a lot of prospects in AAA right now. Casey is “iffy” as a prospect based on age, but he’s a banner child for the Covid effect; he lost 2020 after earning a promotion to AA in 2019 at age 23; then he loses his age 24 season, solves AA at age 25 but has struggled in AAA ever since. So, its possible this is his peak. Meanwhile, we know Barrera is too old for AAA, and probably too old to be a “prospect” at this point, but he’s also a catcher on the 40-man roster and is next in line if Ruiz/Adams gets hurt. So he falls into the “AAA as spare parts” league category.
  • Rochester AAA Pitcher prospects: Cavalli (23), Seth Romero (26). As with hitters … our AAA is not really a place where we bring up our prospects. Cavalli at 23 is one of the youngest pitchers in AAA right now (only 7 arms in the International League are 23 or younger, most of them major prospects whose names you already know). Romero at 26 is “iffy” as a prospect, which makes me laugh to write since he’s been “iffy” as a prospect since the moment he was kicked off his college team. I still can’t quite believe he’s in the employ of the team, and it should make you sick that he was called up to then be put on the major league 60-day DL, thus meaning he’s earning MLB salary this year.

Conclusions? the Nats are generally keeping their prospects in the appropriate level, and the “too old for the level” iffy considerations all have easy-to-see explanations.

Written by Todd Boss

May 12th, 2022 at 9:45 am

Baseball America “updates” its Nats top 30 and 1st week impressions

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So, BA issued an “update” to its top 30 prospect lists for teams this week.

See https://www.baseballamerica.com/teams/1012/washington-nationals/organizational/ for our “new” list.

per BA’s site, this update is… “With the minor league season beginning, we have updated our Top 30 prospect rankings for every major league club. These new rankings now include international players from the current signing class that opened on Jan. 15, with additional player movement based on new looks, information and injuries.”

BA continues to ignore MLB service time and keeps including prospects who have not hit AB/IP thresholds even though they’ve sat on the active roster long enough to exhaust rookie eligibility .. which means that they’ve kept in particular Keibert Ruiz and Riley Adams eligible, as literally no other shop has done.

So what changed between this ranking and the last one (to which I reacted here?).

  • They added Jan 2022 IFA signing Cristian Vaquero at #5.
  • ….. and thats it.

No adjustments for Antuna moving to the outfield, for Lile being out for the season, for Adon making the MLB rotation, nothing else.


So, pretty much a nothing burger of an update. But, thought i’d put a placeholder here to talk about the starts we’re seeing with the MLB club through the first week.

Talking about hitters:

  • Good, as expected: Soto, Bell, Ruiz
  • Good, unexpectedly: Franco, YHernandez (has he now won a starting job?)
  • Bad, as expected: Robles (why is he still in the majors?), Escobar
  • Bad, unexpectedly: Cruz, Thomas

Robles starts the season 0-17 and necessitates the callup of prospect OF Casey. Lane Thomas hasn’t been much better. But maybe we should just frigging play Yadiel Hernandez until he stops hitting? I mean, the dude hit last year, he’s hitting this year … why not just play the guy?

Pitchers? Phew, hide your eyes.

  • Good, as expected: … i’m not sure anyone is living up to their expectations. Rainey maybe? Arano. Fedde maybe.
  • Good, unexpectedly: Rogers, Doolittle
  • Bad, as expected: Corbin, ASanchez (by going straight to the DL), Adon, Voth
  • Bad, unexpectedly: not sure anyone qualifies here.

Lets be honest, i went into this season looking at this pitching staff with very little expectation. Our opening day rotation consisted of

  • a 9-figure contract debacle who hasn’t performed in 2 years in Corbin.
  • A option-less 5+ ERA starter who should have been non-tendered last offseason in Fedde
  • a rookie who has been all hype and no performance as of yet in Grey
  • Another rookie with one MLB start who had, frankly, uninspiring 2021 MILB numbers and who should be in AAA in Adon
  • A frigging NRI has-been who I can’t believe they took over Rogers or Espino in Anibel Sanchez.

What have see seen so far? Adon: shelled in 2 starts. Corbin? Shelled in 2 starts. Sanchez? hurt before he makes a start … and then lo and behold Rogers comes up and gives the Nats their best start so far (shocker!). Grey? Surprisingly decent so far. And Fedde? Shocker he was effective in his first start. Lets see how long that lasts.

Honestly, i’m shocked we’re 3-5 right now with a team ERA right now of 5.91. 5.91 isn’t getting the donuts made.


Long season ahead.

Written by Todd Boss

April 15th, 2022 at 9:41 am

ProspectDigest Nats top 10 released

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Armando Cruz gets high props with this list. Photo via talknats.com

Even though the 2022 season has started, we’re still seeing pundit Prospect ranking lists trickle in. In fact, we still havn’t seen several major shops’ Nats list at this point, so we’ll continue doing these posts as they arrive.

Today, Prospectdigest.com and its lead pundit Joseph Werner released his Nats top 10 list. https://prospectdigest.com/washington-nationals-top-10-prospects-for-2022/ .

Here’s some comments.

  • Ruiz at #1. I think Werner is following the Baseball America “rules” for eligibility, as opposed to MLBs. He’s still got Ruiz as being a prospect. Perhaps he wrote this list last fall (which may be true, given the fact that there’s mo mention of Vaquero).
  • He then has the same 2-5 names as most everyone else, in the same order: Cavalli, House, Henry, Rutledge.

After the top 5 is where his list gets, um, “interesting.”

  • Armando Cruz at #6. That’s the highest he’s been on any list since before last year’s trade deadline prospect haul. He’s an 18yr old who hit .232 in the DSL last year … this ranking is entirely on hype and scouting reports.
  • Daylen Lile at #7?? Wow, that’s way too high for his profile. I mean, everything has to go right for a 6.0″ slap hitter to make it, and his pro debut was awful (.219/.363/.250 in FCL last year). How is this guy higher than any number of other hitters we have in the system? Crazy. Plus, we now know he’s torn his UCL and is out for the entire 2022 season. So … yes perhaps late breaking news, but this list should have been adjusted.
  • Mitchell Parker at #8? This is the highest ranking I’ve seen anyone have for Parker. Look, I like Parker; but there’s no way I’d have him above Adon or Lara or Carrillo or Lee right now. Adon is in the majors for crying out loud. Lara’s got better stuff and is 3 years younger. Carrillo probably could be in the MLB bullpen right now, and Lee struck out 104 in 77 High-A innings last year.
  • Lara and Carrillo round out the top 10; don’t have any issues with those guys being around this range.

Nits: No Vaquero. they drafted him in January and its now Mid April. If you rank Cruz at #6 then you have to put in a guy who was older and better at signing time. Also, no mention of Adon despite him being in the MLB rotation.

Otherwise, not much else to note. I can’t see any other possible ommissions from this top 10.

Written by Todd Boss

April 12th, 2022 at 10:30 am

MLBPipeline Nats top 30 Prospects

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Vaquero is here, and here to stay. Photo via TalkNats.com

In our continuing series of reviewing/reacting/criticizing Nats prospect lists as they’re released, today we got a big one. The MLBpipeline.com team (which includes senior prospect analysts Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo, and Sam Dykstra) has released their updated top 30 rankings for our system.

Here’s the links to past analysis: Keith Law/The Athletic, Baseball America, ProspectsLive.com, Prospects1500, Prospects361. We’re still waiting for a couple major shops who generally release rankings: Fangraphs, ESPN, BleacherReport, and CBSsports.

Back to MLBPipeline’s list, which is perhaps the most respected source out there. Here’s the link to the story and the list itself.

Lets do some reactions.

  • At the top, Ruiz is graduated, so they go Cavalli-House at 1-2 like everyone else.
  • They’ve got our next two significant arms at 3-4 (that being Henry/Rutledge). Law had them 3-4 as well, just in the reverse order. Notably, no other shop has these two arms as high, most pushing them down in to the 6-9 range. Which tells you what I think about this source versus others.
  • MLBpipeline is one of the first to rank Vaquero legitimately; they’ve got him 5th as a starting point in the system. The only other shop to even bother attempting to rank him immediately post signing was ProspectsLive (who had him 4th).
  • Next three are our tertiary tier of RHP starters; in order Lara, Carrillo, Adon. No quibbling here; all three could serve as really useful arms in our system in one fashion or another. Having these three guys in the 6-8 range is completely reasonable.
  • They’re high on Daylen Lile, having him at #10. But their scouting report is a little dour, projecting him as a bat first spray hitting 4th outfielder.
  • Antuna: down at #12. Finally a realistic ranking of a career .238 hitter who projects as a corner OF with no power.
  • Quintana continues to be all over the map: they have him #15; he’s been as high as #7 (Keith Law) and as low as #24 (Baseball America).
  • Boissiere comes in at #17 … after missing BA’s entire top 30.
  • Lucius Fox is #23 … one of the few times we’ve ever had a waiver claim be ranked in our prospects list.
  • Several recently drafted players are in the 20s but entirely missing from BA’s list, guys like Saenz and White.
  • Mason Denaburg gets #30 treatment, but Seth Romero is nowhere to be seen.

Notable missing players

  • Holden Powell‘s injuries have dropped him off the radar; he needs a bounce back 2022.
  • Daniel Marte: completely off the radar too.
  • Tim Cate: completely unranked but is as high as #12 on Law’s list. Interesting how little he’s rated.
  • Riley Adams: nowhere to be seen despite being #11 on BA’s list. I guess a backup catcher who we all think is going to play every 4th day is not a prospect.
  • Mason Thompson; another guy who BA had just outside their top 10 … then suddenly he wasn’t there at all. Did he graduate rookie eligibility? I can’t tell.

Update post publishing: per commenter, Adams and Thompson have graduated … which makes you then ask, “well why the hell is he on BAs’ list?” And the answer there is … well, because i don’t know. It’d be super helpful if baseball-reference.com would have listed them as having graduated (since that’s my primary source for determining that). I’ll update my docs.

Written by Todd Boss

March 21st, 2022 at 12:36 pm

Keith Law’s Prospect Rankings released

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Law is the first pundit to put House as our #1 prospect. By the time he’s done, House may end up eclipsing our current record holder for most #1 listings (Lucas Giolito). Photo via primetimesportstalk.com

February is definitely prospect month, and one of the leading analysts out there is The Athletic’s Keith Law. On Monday 2/7/22 he released his system ranks, and then on XXX he released the NL East team’s prospect rankings, including our weary Nationals.

First, a couple thoughts on his system rankings. Law’s approach to evaluation definitely prioritizes ceiling over floor, and definitely discounts things you can find in abundance (RH relievers) versus scarcity (Catchers, top-end SPs, Shortstops, etc). And when it comes to evaluating entire systems, I feel like he goes well deeper than the best 3-4 guys in a system. So there’s some wild variations between his system rankings and a place like Baseball America’s, which ill go into briefly here.

Law’s top 5 systems: LA Dodgers, Seattle, Arizona, Tampa, Toronto.
BA’s top 5 systems: Seattle, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Kansas City.

Not too far off … until you see where BA ranked Law’s #1 team (they had LA 8th) and where BA had Toronto (19th!). That’s some wild variation. They also wildly disagreed on some middle of the road teams, for similar reasons. I sense that BA is star-driven, Law’s is depth-driven. That being said … both shops had the exact same bottom 7 teams, just in slightly different order.

Washington comes in at #27 for Keith, #26 for BA coincidentally. Law does not include Ruiz as a prospect because he’s exhausted his rookie status per the new rules … this is something BA didn’t bother to adjudicate yet (nor any other prospect ranking shop), so I wonder if that didn’t ding the system a peg or two. Otherwise, Law’s evaluation of our system is this: improved from dead last last year, but two of our best arms got hurt, otherwise might be better.


OK, lets get to the individual players, which was released on 2/14/22. I know the Athletic is behind a paywall, so i’m going to be respectful of that and not post his list 1-x. You can glean the rankings though from my comments here.

Law’s methodology, which I always seem to need to repeat, is as follows: he’s more ceiling than floor. He could care less about fantasy. He discounts relievers. He is skeptical of bad mechanics in pitchers. He is definitely more “conservative” in projections of players. He is skeptical of 16-yr old DSL players and often waits until they perform in a domestic league. So, with those observations … here’s some thoughts on his player rankings.

  • (Reminder: no Ruiz, who likely was our #1)
  • #1: House. First time a pundit has named House #1. Says he hits the ball harder than any player in the 2021 draft (prep or college), is almost guaranteed to move to 3B at his size, but he has a chance to basically be Aaron Judge but on the dirt. Yeah. Sign me up.
  • #2 Cavalli. Law notes his struggles at AAA, but also isn’t that concerned. He thinks Cavalli’s worst-case scenario (barring a massive arm injury of course) is a workhorse #2 or #3 starter for the next decade. Sign me up.
  • He’s somewhat bullish on Rutledge (#3), but is worried about effort-full short arm action continuing his litany of injuries as we saw in 2021. Don’t be surprised if he’s converted to a reliver if he has another 30-inning season, though if the dude can’t even throw 30 innings without getting hurt … he’s not going to cut it as a reliever either.
  • #4 is Henry … upside of a #2 starter if his elbow holds up. We’ll see in 2022 how well it can hold up.
  • He loves #5 Adon, noting the same thing i’ve noticed; easy arm action. Its like we’re looking at a young Livan Hernandez.
  • He’s very high on Roismar Quintana, ranking him #7 when other shops have him well lower (BA had him #25).
  • He’s a bit lower on both Antuna and Lara than other places, which i’m in agreement with on both cases. Antuna at #8 is about where i’d like to see him. He was surprised Lara got to the majors and sees him as a #4 starter

Interestingly, Law’s top 10 and BA’s top 10 (excluding Quintana) have the exact same names, just in slightly different orders. There’s a bit more variations when looking at some of the more bloggier/fantasy focused sites we have lists for (Prospects1500.com, ProspectsLive.com, Prospects361.com), but so far the two biggest/most professional pundits are pretty aligned.

  • Law is one of the higher guys on Lile, having him at #11. I’m concerned that Lile can’t project as a center fielder at 6’0″, which means he’s gonna have to mash as a corner OF to be of any value. It means he’s gonna have to add power to his frame and power to his game.
  • He’s highest man so far on Tim Cate, at #12, noting that he may be headed to the pen based on his inability to get AA hitters out this year.
  • Jake Irvin at #14 (remember him?) Irvin’s been away so long that BA didn’t even have him in their top 40 (!!), and only one of other blog sites even mentioned him (Prospects1500 at #36). Law clearly remembers him, and expects him to come back. He may be the only one.
  • Perhaps an indictment of the system … or perhaps a sneaky good find, but he has Lucious Fox, our waiver claim from last fall, at #15. He thinks Fox could literally make it to the majors this year as a utility infielder backup.
  • At #19 and #20 he has two guys who basically sound the same: Evan Lee and Mitchell Parker. Both lefties, both with fantastic K/9 rates despite middling velocity, both have to have everything go right to turn into a 5th starter in the bigs. I guess there’s worse things to have in your system.

In his Honorable Mention section, he did call out some fan favorites, including T.J. White (reminding us that White was incredibly young for the class, getting drafted two weeks before turning 18, which means we basically got a high school Junior who put up those numbers), Boissiere, Barley, Brzycky, etc.

Notable names not on Law’s list:

  • Seth Romero, who he called out as someone who has completely fallen out of consideration specifically.
  • He also does not have our new $3.9M guy Cristian Vaquero, perhaps because of the timing of the signing and perhaps because we have zero to go on except a large bonus figure and huge hype (remember this when you see other shops rank the guy #4).
  • He does not have guys like Mason Thompson, Riley Adams, or Donovan Casey. Perhaps because they project as spare parts (middle reliever, backup catcher, 4th outfielder), as opposed to scarcity positions (starting C, starting pitcher, SS, CF).

All in all, a solid list with solid analysis.


New Feature: trying to build an all-prospects future team just based on a pundit’s rankings. Here’s what we’d have here:

  • Catchers: Ruiz and Riley Adams I suppose
  • Starting Rotation: Grey, Cavalli, Henry, Lara, Adon, Irvin and Saenz as a swingman/depth
  • Bullpen: Rutledge, Carrillo, Cate, Cronin, Ramirez, Lee, Parker, Brzykcy
  • Infield: House at 3B, Cruz at SS, Garcia at 2B, White at 1B, with backups like Infante, Fox, Barley
  • Outfield: Vaquero in Center, Quintana/Antuna in left, De la Rosa in right, with depth in Lile and Boissiere.

I mean, that’s not a bad lineup to look forward to…

Written by Todd Boss

February 14th, 2022 at 9:50 am